Victory Mushroom Cap 13.1 draws 700 to its inaugural run
10/17/2016 02:09PM ● Published by Richard Gaw
Cecelia Jenifer, 71, was among the hundreds of runners who gathered last Saturday in the pre-dawn hours at the Kennett High School football field at a time when the rest of Chester County was still fast asleep.
She was joined by 15-year-old Connor Ash from West Chester, and Sarah Benson, who traveled to the race from Henderson, Nev., as well as Cathy Ordiway and Amy Rabanal from Florida. They were all there – mother-and-son duos, weekend warriors and corporate combinations – gathered in anticipation of what would soon be the first Victory Mushroom Cap 13.1 race in Kennett Square.
As the sun finally emerged at 7 a.m., it revealed what race organizers Sarah Nurry and Karen DiMascola of Run2Shine, Inc. – along with race director David Berger – had worked more than a year for: 700 runners lined up on the Kennett High School track, bursting through the starting line.
“I was very emotional and fighting back tears,” DiMascola said. “A year's worth of work came down to today, and everyone looked happy and excited. As much as we needed runners to make this race happen, this race would be impossible without our volunteers. They are certainly one of the largest pieces of this event, and the fact that many of them have been here since 4 a.m. is testament to their dedication. We could not have had this race without them.”
“In the past year, everything just fell into place,” Berger said. “When you really want something, the universe conspires to make it happen. We hit our 700 runner mark, the weather is perfect and we have the support of some great volunteers.”
The 13.1-mile race wound its way through the streets of Kennett Square and entered Willowdale, along North Mill Road, Poplar Tree Road and Wollaston Road. Eventually, the course directed the runners back to Kennett High School. In the men's division, the overall winner was James Robison, who clocked in with a time of 1:19:02. Joshua Alcorn finished in second place with a time of 1:23:48, and Timothy Henry finished in third, at 1:24:14.
In the women's division, Lauren DePaul won with a time of 1:29:12; Mary Ann McMenamin finished in second place with a time of 1:33:30; and Maddie Bixler took third place at 1:34:41.
Community support of veterans and their families was a theme of the event, which gave members of The Weekly Flight – a group dedicated to promoting an understanding of the challenges associated with combat post-traumatic stress – the honor of being the first group to start the race. In addition, Run2Sine, Inc. invited Justin Jordan, veteran and the author of “And Then I Cried..Stories of a Mortuary NCO,” to meet with runners and sign copies of his book.
Proceeds from registration fees were given to The Garage Community & Youth Center, Family Promise of Southern Chester County, and The Weekly Flight.
To contact Staff Writer Richard L. Gaw, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.